Afternoon trains leaving Central bound for the Illawarra are starting to resemble the crowded carriages in Tokyo, where staff have to push passengers in, according to an angry commuter.
Thirroul resident Bronwyn Batten travels by train to work in Hurstville three days a week.
She described the afternoon trains she catches home – which have just four carriages – as “awful”.
“The experience of travelling in some of them is so different to what Sydney Trains says,” Ms Batten said.
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“They say customers might experience crowding if they’re getting on at later stations but the reality is you have to get on at Central 10 minutes before the train leaves to get a seat.
“Sometimes with people getting on at Sutherland it’s like Tokyo, where you’re pushing each other onto the train and there is regularly people sitting on the floor.”
Last year Ms Batten approached the Illawarra Greens about starting a petition to reduce crowding.
She followed that up by creating the Illawarra Rail Fail group on Facebook to raise awareness of the issue.
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There is also a public meeting planned for later this month to call for better rail services.
“It’s really about trying to put this on the agenda for the 2019 election, for it to be taken seriously,” Ms Batten said.
“If we want change we need people power behind this because it’s not working with just MPs writing and asking questions [to ministers] about things.”
Ms Batten said those people who didn’t catch the train to Sydney themselves shouldn’t ignore the issue.
“You might not travel on the trains but if you want your son or daughter to be able to have a seat in a few years when they go to uni on the train and get the chance to do some work, it’s not going to be a reality.
“They’re going to be standing.”
The public meeting is on May 28 at the Wollongong Tennis Club from 7pm.
Speakers include UOW Associate Professor Philip Laird, Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi and Keira MP Ryan Park.